Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23

& now come spring, & absent of exigencies. The same calm breath, the light lingering to wane later & later, & the dawn daily more impatient to rise. & I still seem to myself a part of some ebbing current, almost other, almost witness to the passage of this own slow time. It’s not from distrusting happiness so much as participating in its inchoate shaping. Maybe it’s that the idea of contentment seems enervating, ultimately—some means of acquiescing to a feeling rather than finding its harmony in you. Contentment makes an assumption about time that I’d rather not make. It is enough, for now, to merely be. & in a day, maybe it’s the falling feather from the owl in the white spruce, or the opening brown-black gap of a puddle, the gentle wheeze of the pass, the scurrying tap of the magpies alighting on the corrugated roof. The eye makes its appeals in a language beyond our own, beyond the gymnastics of our thinking. Which seems the riddle.

Odd to think that time antagonizes us, or that we would play hostage to its passage, measure it out for what it thieves from us. Though we do, almost invariably. I think the will an extraordinary fiction sometimes. To consider ourselves as anything but permeable, utterly vulnerable, always already intertwined with alterities that branch & tendril well beyond the scope of our vision. It is tired, I know, to wonder after the boundaries of the self. But it is this Herculean project of weaving strands of disparate, shattered meanings into cohesion that bewilders me. This obstinate refusal to allow for ambiguities, even as the manufacture of the vagaries that seem most often to compel us goes forward at all hours unimpeded. This warp a severed thing, without origin. This weft of borrowed cloth strung.

Why I am preoccupied of late with meaning-making is beyond me. It would be tiresome to another I’m sure. Perhaps it is this landscape, in which scope renders self-significance utterly & immediately negligible. Or the way I am carried along by time, writing my name in a cresting wave that will bring it to dissolution some day upon a shore I cannot yet imagine. & there, clotted sand & mica-speckled pebble, the slow erosions, the liminal fluxing, our inevitable erasures. A goodbye.

But here, here, it is only the sound of that water, its gentle song, the brittle leaves caught in the currents, the stubborn boulders strewn haphazard & cleaving twain the tide, & I some buoy ferried along, some wind-fanned reed, some brief reflected arc of light.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13

I am thinking about how cleanly divergent thought & feeling can be—two ghosts with no cognizance of one another, haunting the same tired house. & how powerlessness can sting me so, crop up from some long-dormant regret to stab & swiftly withdraw. how in thinking about the irrecuperable past it is our nature to rhapsodize over conditionals, over conjectures of what could have been, when in any case here we are, our palms upturned, our hearts in some heavy wake, or some spirited discovery, or lulled instead by the soft, plain music of the ordinary. that none of it effectively matters. & that it could not matter more.

maybe, maybe those twinned ghosts can have names, & one of them can be the nihilist & the other the solipsist. & both can drag their spectral forms through the relief of shadow thirsting after some bright light that will never come, & both can feel the blue-black umbra of the moon, the color of a raven’s wing catching a silver arc of refracted star. & both can pace the floorboards & hum & flicker, & any eye that beholds either can widen, relay the fear to the heart, let the heart relay the fear to the fingertips, which rise, rise to the whitened face. & so passes the night. & then the roseate dawn, & the specters fade, & time, time seems to open out from itself again & to permit our obliviousness its daily trespass. & suddenly the memory of the ghosts, too, thins & dissolves, form into smoke, whisper into susurrus, until it comes to cusp teetering where our recollections are swallowed whole by their erasure, & the breeze comes just so, say, & it is fled from us too, with its wake of exhausted fear. another irretrievable thing.

& so. where now those ghosts? & how changed the ground beneath me? the snow upon the soil. I cannot believe that I mean anything in this world. & I cannot believe otherwise.

& so we cull our recollection for what is reft from us. Pound, he was wrong, after all. what thou lovest well. & our remembering is a reanimating, & those ghosts move now differently than they did then. it is an act we will them to perform, isn’t it, to accord with our shifting want. but they are never there, never really there, though we look & look & look.